Monday, September 10, 2007

Marching to the Beat of a Different Drummer

I've always had a soft spot for people whom many other people consider a little bit odd.

People like Silvio Barile, for example.

There's an article about him in Friday's Chicago Tribune that begins thusly:

REDFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. - People think Silvio Barile is crazy, and Barile knows this.

It's not just that his Italian restaurant has become a museum for the crude, hulking concrete statues he labors over. Or that he freely airs disdain for America, which he also claims to love. Or that he's apathetic about bathing and washing clothes.

It's all of it. And more. Like the fact he believes his creepy, bug-eyed version of the David, with its heavy, graceless limbs, is better than Michelangelo's.

"A lot of people think I am crazy completely," said Barile, 67, a short, roundish man with a staccato Italian accent. "I think they're crazy. They are brainwashed by TV. They think they are better than they really are."

The article goes on to detail more of Barile's idiosyncrasies and peccadilloes. Sure, the guy isn't perfect -- and it's a darn good thing the health department shut down his restaurant -- but then again, who among us is?

Personally, I can't help but like the guy.

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